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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
oc•cur /əˈkɜr/USA pronunciation   v. [no object], -curred, -cur•ring. 
  1. to happen;
    take place;
    come to pass:The accident occurred last night.
  2. to be met with or found;
    present itself;
    turn up;
    exist:[not: be + ~ -ing]Crime and disease occur in all countries of the world.
  3. [not: be + ~ -ing;usually: ~ + to + object] to come to mind:An idea just occurred to me.[+ to +  object + that clause]The thought occurred to me that we should save money.[It + ~ + to +  object + (that) clause]It never occurred to me (that) we would not have enough money.
See -cur-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
oc•cur  (ə kûr),USA pronunciation v.i.,  -curred, -cur•ring. 
  1. to happen;
    take place;
    come to pass:When did the accident occur?
  2. to be met with or found;
    present itself;
  3. to suggest itself in thought;
    come to mind (usually fol. by to):An idea occurred to me.
  • Latin occurrere to run to meet, arrive, meet, equivalent. to oc- oc- + currere to run
  • 1520–30
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged befall. See  happen. 
    • 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged arise, offer.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

occur /əˈkɜː/ vb ( -curs, -curring, -curred)(intransitive)
  1. to happen; take place; come about
  2. to be found or be present; exist
  3. (followed by to) to be realized or thought of (by); suggest itself (to)
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin occurrere to run up to, from ob- to + currere to run
It is usually regarded as incorrect to talk of pre-arranged events occurring or happening: the wedding took place (not occurred or happened) in the afternoon

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